Update (July 30, 2009, 8:50 a.m. PDT): A subsequent report says that Acer's plans for an Android Netbook are allegedly still on track.
Is Acer backing off the idea of an Android-based Netbook?
A new report out of Taiwan, where the PC maker is based, says the production of the previously announced dual-boot Netbook with Windows XP and Android is being delayed.
The report in Digitimes, says that while Acer had previously planned an earlier launch, "further evaluation has found demand for an Android Netbook is not strong enough, and it has therefore decided to postpone the launch of the model."
Digitimes says it was previously announced for an August release, but that it is being pushed back to November. When asked for confirmation, an Acer spokesperson said only that "Acer has not yet announced timing of a dual-boot Netbook."
But if the Digitimes report is accurate, it means something has shifted at Acer HQ. At Computex in early June, company executives were very excited about the possibilities of Android on Netbooks, even saying that the majority of Acer Netbooks will come with Android as an alternative operating system to Microsoft's Windows.
"Netbooks are designed to be compact in size and easy to connect to the Internet wherever you go," Jim Wong, Acer's president of IT products, said at the time. "The Android operating system offers incredibly fast wireless connection to the Internet; for this reason, Acer has decided to develop Android Netbooks for added convenience to our customers."
The idea of putting Google's Android mobile operating system on Netbooks came into favor earlier this year, with several Netbook manufacturers piping up to say they would offer or at least look into it as an option. But there are several potential problems with putting a relatively unknown operating system on what are intended to be very accessible computers for even the least technically savvy, as my colleague Dan Ackerman noted.
But more importantly, Android wasn't created for Netbooks. And earlier this month Google announced it's actually working on an OS specifically designed for them, Chrome OS. Google also said it is already working with PC makers like Asus, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Toshiba, and Acer, so it would make sense that Acer could be focusing its attention away from Android.